En Avant Guingamp gave their survival hopes a major boost and inflicted a first defeat on Julien Stéphan as they scored a 2-1 win ove Breton neighbours Stade Rennais FC in Tuesday's Week 18 encounter.
En Avant Guingamp 2-1 Stade Rennais FC
Goals: 1-0 Eboa Eboa (40'), 2-0 Deaux (59'), 2-1 Niang (86')
Stéphan came into the game having won all four of his Ligue 1 Conforama games in charge of Rennes, and the visitors forced Marc-Aurèle Caillard into action early through Hamari Traoré (4').
James Léa-Siliki fired over (19') and Traoré then fired from distance (24') as Rennes sought to open the scoring for the 17th time in 20 matches this season.
Guingamp, bottom of the table with just two wins in their previous 23 league outings, finally woke up after the half-hour mark with Pedro Rebocho going close (31') and only a Tomas Koubek save denying Nolan Roux the opening goal (34).
The hosts eventually got that though through the unlikely source of full-back Félix Eboa Eboa, who leapt highest to meet a Rebocho corner and head beyond Koubek (40').
With Rennes reeling, Guingamp doubled their lead after the break. Marcus Thuram, who has been in such good form of late, picked out Ludovic Blas and his cross was met with a powerful header by Lucas Deaux (59').
Léa-Siliki should have pulled one back when he latched onto the loose ball after Caillard had kept out a Romain del Castillo shot (76'), but the rangy midfielder somehow fired over the crossbar.
Hatem ben Arfa went close (79'), but it was not until substitute Mbaye Niang found the net four minutes from time with a ferocious shot that Rennes had hope, but it was not enough as Stéphan's side missed an opportunity to close on the top four.
THE PLAYER: Lucas Deaux
The unsung midfielder deserved his goal to cap another typically combative, inspirational display.
THE STAT: 33
Rennes have scoed in 33 of their last 34 Ligue 1 Conforama games.